Powell's speech at a glance

Minute-by-minute coverage of Colin Powell's presentation to the security council
3.35pm: Mr Powell begins his presentation. He tells the security council that the resolution returning the inspectors placed the onus on Iraq to disarm, not for the inspectors to disarm it. He quotes Hans Blix's assessment that Iraq had not acknowledged the need to disarm.

3.40pm: He says the evidence he will show the security council will demonstrate Iraq is not disarming but in fact rebuilding its weapons of mass destruction. He plays a tape he says was intercepted by intelligence officials between two Iraqi officers acknowledging Mohamed el-Baradei was visiting the following day and discusssing what to do with a "modified vehicle".

3.45pm: He plays a second tape, recorded last month, that he says contains orders to hide weapons from the inspectors. Mr Powell describes it as part of a 12-year-old Iraqi policy to not cooperate with inspectors. He gives the security council details of an Iraqi special committee - answering to Saddam Hussein - to monitor the inspectors.

3.47pm: Iraq's 12,000-page declaration of its weapons of mass destruction is described as "false" by the US secretary of state. He says his evidence is backed up by "solid" sources, and says Iraqi officials are hiding banned materials in their homes and cars to prevent them falling into the inspectors' hands.

3.50pm: He says the US has satellite photographs showing weapons materials being moved. He shows a wepons storage facility at Taji he says has active chemical weapons bunkers. The bunkers were cleared before the inspectors arrived. Mr Powell says Iraq is tapping the inspectors' communications to find out where they are going.

3.55pm: A satellite image of a frequently monitored ballistic weapons facility is shown with trucks moving materials a few days before inspectors arrive. Mr Powell says the same pattern has been repeated at 30 sites since the inspectors returned.

3.57pm: Saddam Hussein warned scientists that disclosing information would be punishable by death and that if they left the country for interviews they would be treated as spies. Officials were also given guidance in how to mislead inspectors.

4.01pm: He says Iraq has placed itself in danger of "serious consequences" by failing the tests in resolution 1441 and the security council risks irrelevence if it allows its orders to be ignored. "How much longer are we willing to put up with Iraq's noncompliance before we as a council, we as the United Nations say: 'Enough. Enough'," he asks.

4.05pm: Moving onto biological weapons he says Iraq has not accounted for all the 25,000 litres of anthrax it declared to the first inspection regime and details mobile biological weapons factories moved around on wheels and rails revealed to the US by a defector. There are both research and production facilities, he says, which operated from Thursday to Friday evenings because Iraqi officials knew inspectors would not visit on the Muslim holy day.

4.10pm: He says Iraq has seven to 18 such laboratories, which he illustrates with an image of a lorry packed with scientific equipment. The factories can produce anthrax and botulinium. He shows footage of a Iraqi Mirage fighter jet equipped with sprayer tanks dispensing 2,000 litres of simulated anthrax.

4.13pm: Mr Powell says there is furthermore evidence that Iraq has destroyed the chemical weapons it admitted to having. He says the US knows Iraq has put elements of its chemical weapons programmes into its permitted infrastructure to hide them. Iraq designed its programmes to be inspected, he says.

4.16pm: He shows a slide of chemical weapons leaving the al-Mussayyib facilities corraborated by a defector who saw the weapons go. A later slide shows bulldozers taking the topsoil around the plant to remove chemical traces.

4.19pm: Another intercept has an Iraqi army colonel telling a captain to "remove the expression 'nerve agents' wherever it comes up in the wireless instructions".

4.21pm: Iraq has 100-150 tonnes of chemical agents and the intent to use them, Mr Powell says. He quotes a source who told intelligence officers that 1,600 death row prisoners were used in chemical weapons experiments. "Saddam's inhumanity has no limits," he tells the security council.

4.25pm: President Saddam attempted to obtain high tolerance aluminium tubes that can be adapted for enriching uranium after inspectors returned at the end of last year. Mr Powell says Iraq at present has two of the three components needed to make a nuclear bomb. It has also attempted to aquire magnets for nuclear weapons manufacture.

4.30pm: Delivery systems above the permitted 150km maximum limit for ballistic missiles include a dozen prohibited al-Husayn and al-Abbas missiles with ranges of 600km and 900km. Saddam has attempted to acquire missile engines since the inspectors returned and wants missiles with a range exceeding 1000km, Mr Powell says.

4.33pm: Iraq is also developing small unmanned aeroplanes with a range of 500km to deliver weapons, he tells the council.

4.37pm: Mr Powells says Baghdad has an agent in an al-Qaida linked terrorist group in northern Iraq that gave sanctuary to the group's members when they were driven from Afghanistan by the US military campaign. He says terrorists have been based in Baghdad for the last eight months coordinating operations in the Middle East and beyond. He names an "al-Qaida linked terrorist", Al-Zarqawi, who has colleagues in Chechnya who harbour ambitions to kill Russians with toxins and also in the UK poison cell that has manufactured ricin, he says.

4.44pm: He says he is "not comforted" by the idea that a secular Iraqi regime would not work with religiously motivated groups such as al-Qaida. Mr Powell says "hatred and ambition" unite Iraq and al-Qaida. Tells council that the "nexus of Iraq and terror" is decades old but the role of toxins is new.

4.47pm: Mr Powell discloses the testimony of a senior al-Qaida official who revealed that he received training in Iraq.

4.49pm: Details ethnic cleansing against Kurds and Marsh Arabs in "Saddam's police state" and says the Iraqi leader has "utter contempt" for human life. "Given his determination to exact revenge on those who oppose him should we take the risk," he asks. "Leaving Saddam Hussein alone for a few more months with weapons of mass destruction is not an option," he says.

4.51pm: "We wrote 1441 to give Iraq one last chance, Iraq is so far not taking that one last chance. We must not shrink from the task that is ahead of us," he concludes.


Simon Jeffery

The GuardianTramp

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